Business News

IPA invokes greater advice focus

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) is adopting advice as a key area of focus for its members in terms of educational pathways, as it looks to broaden the traditional suite of services accountants offer.

Speaking at the IPA pre-budget dinner event in Canberra last week, chief executive Andrew Conway said the institute had reworked its educational program to focus on additional revenue streams for accountants, such as financial advice and small business consulting, to ensure its members were equipped to face the industry’s future.

“Our program, the IPA master’s degree, has been overhauled now to include a major focus on financial planning as well as small business to make sure that our professional programs are equipping our members with the direction they need to provide the best possible services to clients,” Conway said.

In addition, the group had significantly beefed up its digital resources, creating portals to allow accountants and clients instant access to legal expertise and clarifications around the tax implications of investments, he said.

“Our digital platforms have been significantly overhauled as an organisation and we’ve spent a considerable amount of resources in making sure our organisation is equipped to do business in the 21st century, with a growing brand of millennial professionals coming into the practice,” he said.

“We need to make sure our tools and resources are tailored to their need as well.

“We’ve created a platform, Professional Assist, which allows you to log an inquiry with a panel of tax law experts and have that response provided back to you typically within four if not 48 hours, and that can then be provided directly to clients.”

The IPA had maintained a key focus on “breaking down the barriers” of member disengagement to become a “leading voice” and advocate for small business in Australia.

“This notion that members are somehow disconnected from the organisation or management has been a hurdle. We’re trying to break down that barrier because at the end of the day our organisation exists because our members support us,” he said.

“When we took on this task of launching the IPA in 2011, one of the strategic challenges that the chair of the board – Christine Leetham – said at the time was to create a disturbance.

“It sent a very clear cultural message that the organisation had to change; not just change externally, but change internally as well. We think we’ve done a lot in that regard and there’s more to do.”

Copyright © SMS Magazine 2024

ABN 43 564 725 109

Benchmark Media

Site design Red Cloud Digital